Providing Thanksgiving to Mothers of Domestic Violence
In Fairfax County, Virginia, one of the wealthiest counties in the country, homelessness is a real problem.
And, according to the county government’s Office to Prevent and End Homelessness, half of the homeless population are people in families, and of those 80 percent of the adults in homeless families are female.
Sadly, one-third of all persons in homeless families are children under the age of 18.
The cause is primarily the lack of affordable housing as low incomes and expensive housing are the main reasons for homelessness in the county.
And tragically, nearly half of these female-headed households are homeless because they are fleeing domestic violence – forcing them to choose homelessness over the safety of themselves and their children.
As the county notes, “It is impossible to pay for an apartment when earning minimum wage – even if you work 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.”
In 2017 (the most current information available), the average rent in Fairfax County was $1,746 per month for a two-bedroom apartment and a family must earn more than $33 an hour, or nearly $70,000 to afford that.
However, thanks to the supporters of Christian Relief Services, headquartered in the Alexandria section of the county, dozens of female-headed households, and dozens more children, have a roof over their heads and a warm bed to sleep in every night instead of “couch-surfing” at family members’ or friends’ houses, or worse, sleeping in a car night after night.
Christian Relief Services owns and operates numerous housing units scattered throughout the county and works in partnership with public agencies and other non-profits to provide affordable, transitional housing and support services for survivors of domestic violence for up two years.
The women who reside in Christian Relief Services properties have fled their abusers and overcome the challenge of homelessness, but they continue to struggle to “do it all” on their own as a single-parent as both the sole breadwinner and loving mother.
Thanksgiving can be a particularly hard time of year for them as they want to be able to provide their daughters and sons with a fond childhood memory of a big turkey dinner with all the trimmings, but also worry about “blowing” their entire food budget for the week on a holiday meal.
This year, we are asking our neighbors in the Northern Virginia and Washington, DC, metropolitan area to think of these families on Thanksgiving Day.
All it takes is $50 to make such a huge difference in the lives of one of these families to ensure they have a happy Thanksgiving dinner free from the fear of abuse.
Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away, please think of them with your gift of $50 today.